13 Projects Get Record Seed Funding

Thirteen Brown research projects attracted $970,000 in Seed Awards through the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). This record level of support results from funds committed to projects that have grown out of the Signature Academic Initiative process.

The winners of the Seed Awards, along with the Salomon Awards, will be recognized on Monday, May 5 at The University Awards Ceremony – A Celebration of Teaching and Research.

Seed Award recipients represent the breadth and depth of research at Brown and encompass the work of more than 40 faculty members at the University. Topics range from identification of childhood obesity risk factors to the development of robotic technologies to help care for and engage the aging population. Through the Seed Awards, Brown faculty and fellows in the John Carter Brown Library also received funding for an ongoing collaboration with the Center for Digital Scholarship to produce a digital multi‐authored publication with an archive of primary resources of the Asia-Pacific in the Making of the Americas: Toward a Global History project.

“In addition to the record volume and overall very high quality of the proposals, I was impressed with the number that were multidisciplinary, cross-cutting the major sectors of the university," says David Savitz, Vice President for Research. “Brown is well-suited to create such bridges to address complex challenges, and doing so often requires preliminary work to be successful."

Research Seed Funding was established in 2003 to help faculty become more competitive in obtaining large-scale, interdisciplinary, multi-investigator grants. This year, the OVPR received 32 proposals. Last year, eight of 26 proposals received a combined total of $558,000.

As a direct result of receiving a Seed Award in 2011, Associate Professor of Medical Science, Diane Hoffman-Kim and her Seed team have received $454,000 in R21 funding from the NIH and a $7,360,581 R01 from the NIH, for a total of $7,814,625. Her research is on the topic of Novel Micropatterned Culture Model for Developing New Therapeutic Strategies for Sudden Cardiac Death.

Investigators may propose projects with budgets up to $100,000. The overall merit of the research project is considered and evaluated by a committee of faculty reviewers who make their award recommendations to the Vice President for Research. In just over a decade, OVPR has awarded just under $5.4 million to 69 Research Seed Funds.

Read more about all of this year’s winners.